The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has rejected Transparency International’s (TI) report which ranked Nigeria low on how corruption is perceived in the country.
The anti-graft agency described the report as appalling while accusing the organisation of having a hidden agenda against Nigeria.
In its 2019 corruption perception index published on Thursday, TI ranked Nigeria 146 of 180 countries studied, two points lower than the 148 the country was rated in 2018.
But in a statement from Tony Orilade, its spokesman, the EFCC said the report is baseless, adding that TI has been consistent in its “biased rating of Nigeria.”
“We insist that the rating is a far cry from the evident strides and achievements so far accomplished by the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption, particularly under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement read.
”The claim is evidently not supported by any empirical data, especially when placed side-by-side with the remarkable achievements of the Commission in the past years,” EFCC said.
“Moreover, it is quite ironic that the report by TI posits that the index does not show real incidences of corruption, yet it claims that the report is a reliable indication of the perception of the Nigerian public and the international community about the state of corruption in the country.”
The EFCC said 2019 was particularly a “remarkable one” for it as the commission secured “unprecedented record of 1,268 convictions, including that of a former state governor and a serving senator who was convicted for defrauding his state to the tune of N7.65 billion.”
“Over the past years, billions of naira, millions of dollars and other foreign currencies were recovered from corrupt persons in the country, including securing the forfeiture of assets of their illegal and fraudulent activities,” the EFCC added.
It said it has altered the narrative that “there are some persons that are untouchables in the country,” adding that it remains committed in the anti-graft war.